Medical Assistant

An important member of the health care team, the Medical Assistant helps patients and providers in today’s medical clinics. From updating electronic medical records and performing laboratory services to giving injections and assisting with procedures, the medical assistant performs an essential role.

The Medical Assistant program at Columbia Basin College (CBC) prepares students to work within a medical office with valuable skills in office administration as well as clinical and patient care skills. Medical Assistants are commonly employed in outpatient physician offices, clinics, health maintenance organizations and hospitals. The program consists of three quarters of coursework followed by a 198-hour unpaid externship with a local employer.

The Medical Assisting program at Columbia Basin College has a job placement rate of 96.77% (2018).

CBC Medical Assistant Program

Medical Assistants continue to be in high demand. CBC’s Medical Assistant program has maintained excellent placement of graduates throughout the community. CBC’s Medical Assistant students have also received higher wages than other competing Medical Assistant programs in the region.

This program has a mandatory Medical Assistant information session requirement. Questions will be answered by an Advisor/Counselor or a program representative. Anyone interested in a CBC School of Health Sciences program should attend. These sessions are free and open to the public. Students, friends and family members are welcome and encouraged to attend.

Both CBC and the Medical Assistant program are independently accredited. CBC is accredited through the premier regional accrediting body, Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

The Medical Assistant Certificate program is nationally accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) upon the recommendation of the Medical Assisting Education Review Board (MAERB).

Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs
25400 U.S. Highway 19 North, Suite 158
Clearwater, FL 33763
727-210-2350

Only students completing a CAAHEP or an Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) accredited program are eligible to become certified medical assistants.

To find other accredited Medical Assistant programs, see CAAHEP and ABHES.

Application Process

College transcripts of applicants into the Medical Assistant program will be reviewed for the following courses:

  • HSCI 147 Medical Terminology (5 credits)
  • PSYC& 100 General Psychology (5 credits)
  • ENGL& 101 English Composition (5 credits)
  • CMST& 101, 210, or 220 or 260 (5 credits)
  • MATH 40 (formerly Math 083) and RDG 099 or higher reflected via a placement test or a college transcript with higher level classes successfully completed


Medical Assistant applications need to include a copy of the following healthcare documentation:

  • American Heart Association BLS Provider CPR card
  • All prerequisite course work needs to be passed with a 2.0 or above. Students must send in official copies of all transcripts for courses taken in institutions other than Columbia Basin College in order to receive credit for courses taken.
  • No experiential learning credit, advanced placement credit or transfer credit will be given for Medical Assistant courses.

The next opportunity to apply to the Medical Assistant program will be May 2021 for a Fall 2021 start. All prerequisite courses need to be completed by Spring quarter of the year applying. Grades from the prerequisite courses will be utilized in the Admission Index Score.

Applicants will receive a letter of acceptance or denial into the program. Acceptance is based on an Admission Index Score and ranking. The Admission Index Score creates equity among student applicants and provides a dynamic index of comparison for students applying to this program. Accepted students will attend a mandatory orientation before Fall quarter (date will be announced). Each student will be required to submit a national background search and drug screen to the college-approved vendor. The background check must be initiated and paid for before registration can occur. Accepted students must provide proof of the required immunizations before going to clinical. The cost to the student for the background check, drug screen and the immunization tracker is approximately $170.00. Those students not admitted may reapply the following year.

Upon successful completion of course work from the CBC Medical Assistant program, graduates will have the degree or certificate earned posted at the bottom of their CBC college transcript.

Graduates qualify for examination with American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) to be nationally certified. Fees are additional and we encourage graduates to apply for testing shortly before completion of your last quarter clinical course. Cost is $125 if the application is submitted within 12 months of graduation date.

Washington State Department of Health (DOH) mandatory licensing fee is $145 to be paid by the graduate.

 

 

National Background Search & Drug Screen Requirements

As part of the admission requirements for Health Science programs, applicants must successfully pass a criminal background check and drug screen prior to working with patients in clinical areas. The background check and drug screen are paid by the student and administered through a third party company, CastleBranch. In addition to the background check required by CBC, each clinical facility reserves the right to conduct its own criminal background check prior to allowing a student to enter its health care facilities for clinical participation.

Certain criminal convictions, pending charges or negative actions may automatically disqualify a person from having unsupervised access to vulnerable adults, juveniles and children. Clinical facilities reserve the right to accept or decline a student’s placement in its facility.

Columbia Basin College Medical Assistant Program Goals

The primary goal of the CBC Medical Assisting program is to prepare competent entry-level Medical Assistants in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills) and affective (behavior) learning domains necessary for performing administrative and clinical tasks in physician clinics and offices. In fulfilling this goal, the Medical Assisting program exists to:

  1. Provide students with access to quality medical assisting education that will prepare them for meaningful employment in physicians’ offices and clinics.
  2. Be responsive to the needs of physicians in providing quality graduates who are certified, properly trained, and value continuing education.
  3. Promote faculty development and excellence in teaching.
  4. Develop and maintain partnerships with local physicians’ offices and clinics to facilitate student learning and workforce development.
  5. Provide the residents of south central Washington State with graduates of the Medical Assisting program trained to be safe and meet the state and national standards for practice.
  6. Apply knowledge of population management in performing entry level care in the ambulatory setting.

The Medical Assistant program is taught by certified medical assistants and is supported by additional administrative staff as well as a physician medical director.

CBC Medical Assistant Program

Medical Assistants work within a medical office with valuable skills in office administration as well as clinical and patient care skills. Medical assistants are commonly employed in:

  • Outpatient physician offices
  • Primary care clinics
  • Health maintenance organizations
  • Hospitals
  • Urgent care clinics


The Medical Assistant program is a part of CBC’s Health Sciences guided pathways. The program was developed knowing students commonly want to continue their education into other career areas, including nursing. Students completing CBC's Medical Assistant program will also be able to continue their studies in the field of applied business with the Bachelor of Applied Science in Applied Management degree program.

contact

  • Email:hsc@columbiabasin.edu

  • Phone:509-544-8300

  • Address:940 Northgate Dr., Richland, WA 99352Third Floor

  • Office Hours:Monday to Thursday: 7 am to 4:30 pmFriday: 7 am to noon

Medical Science Center